Thursday, December 02, 2004

HEAR: Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose

This albums ROCKS! I prematurely declare it the best album of 2004.
Finely produced by Jack White of The White Stripes. He takes Loretta Lynn back to her old school honky-tonk days but with a fresh twist. I like the prominent sound of the electric guitar. This is the first album where she wrote all the songs herself. And boy are we glad she did. Her lyrics are witty, hilarious, keen, and poignant. Many of them are about cheatin' men, women out to get revenge on their cheatin' men, and of course, loss and heartbreak. These are some samples of my favorite lyrics from her songs:

"I brough out our little babies/'cause I wanted them to see/The woman that's burning down/Our family tree."
"I'm sittin' here on death row/And lord I've lost my mind/For love I've killed my darlin'/And for love I'll lose my life."
"I'm gonna grab her by her ponytail/I'm gonna sling her around and around/When she wakes up she'll know she met up/With mad Mrs. Leroy Brown."

But the songs are not all so feisty. There's a few that depict sweet, heartwarming portraits of family.

For a 70-year-old musician, Loretta Lynn sings with the vim and vigor
of a twentysomething rock goddess. She just belts it out in that classic
honky-tonk way. She reminds us what real country is supposed to sound
like, and it's far superior than the fake heavily pop-influenced garbage that
is prevalent in country music today. Can't even call it country no mo'.

My favorite song on this albums is "Portland Oregon" which is the only
duet with Jack White. I wish they sang a few more songs together. I don't
think anyone could have ever dreamed up of those two collaborating but
they're absolutely electricfying together. I like the clash of the generations
and music genres (punk and country?!), which actually is not a clash at all
but strange bedfellows who pleasantly happen to complement each other very well.

Van Lear Rose is one that is destined to be remembered and lauded for a very long time.

::5 stars::